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"Vaseegara"

VIJAY'S ACCENT is on romantic comedy this time in Shots N Stills Production, "Vaseegara" — named after a hit number, penned by Thamarai, the title has a definite poetic touch to it. It is a breezy romance of the Mills & Boon kind and takes off well. Nothing dramatic happens from the beginning till nearly the end, and but for the contrived climax, watching "Vaseegara" would have been like a visit to any normal, happy, well-to-do household — refreshing and enjoyable. But the last few scenes are a real drag.

There is comedy, a little action and a lot of love — remake or otherwise the recipe is the same, only the proportion varies. Bhupathy (Vijay) is packed off to the city after graduation. His father's friend, Viswanathan or Vichu (Nasser) would help him secure a job. What the hero does not bargain for is Priya's (Sneha) interest in him. The girl is already engaged but that doesn't deter her. Her change of heart upsets the apple cart. Though Bhupathy wants to reciprocate he is very careful not to create problems in his host's home.

Vijay has rarely been natural in romantic expressions. Most of the time he would seem to be conscious of his steps in the song sequences and of the dialogue in the love scenes. But "Vaseegara" is different — you actually see him emoting quite well as the forlorn, love-struck young man. Sneha is absolutely comfortable in her role of the woman who is unrelenting in her love for Bhupathi. Gayathri Jayaram, the constant second heroine these days, seems to be gaining in girth. The Man Friday of the house, Kattabomman (Vadivelu) evokes laughter in some of the scenes — it is the decibel level that puts you off. The scenes involving Vijay and Vadivelu are enjoyable and project the former as an effective comedy hero. Also the way in which he constantly addresses his dad (Manivannan) by name thus showing his closeness and affection for the old man is new and appealing. Nasser looks extremely dignified — yet why do these old men inflict stinging slaps on their docile wives, for no fault of theirs? It's time such crudeness in films is stopped.

When you see Suhasini enter the scene, you think she has a vital role in the proceedings. But no, she just makes a special appearance now and then, doles out a few axioms and vamooses. Pandiyarajan makes a special appearance too.

The story may be a retold version — but the screenplay, dialogue and direction are K. Selvabharathy's.

It is a different and more appealing Vijay in "Vaseegara," in the sense you don't see the Rajini influence (that was only too evident in "Bhagavathy") or the stereotype action hero mould so typical of him.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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